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Lord Bolton and his family. (Thomas Orde Powlett, lst Baron Bolton).

In the first instance, as I was most anxious to see a likeness of Lord Bolton, I visited Carisbrooke Castle, where I had been told there was an exhibition of portraits of past and present Governors of the Island. I was most courteously received by the Gatehouse keeper and escorted to the exhibition, where I was not disappointed, for I was able to see for myself a black and white reproduction of a portrait of Lord Bolton, perhaps in his late twenties. To my delight, this portrait depicted a handsome man with dark eyes and scholarly brow, whose sensitive face and serious expression fully endorsed my previous conviction of his fine perception in choosing Fernhill for his home on the Island. From his elegantly styled hair, which differed only slightly from the best of today's fashion, and from his clothes, he could have been living at the present time, for his dark suit and beautifully goffered shirt front almost exactly resembled the type of evening dress worn by men nowadays.

From the friendly Gatehouse keeper and from delving into Burke's Peerage, 1970 I learnt that Lord Bolton, who was originally named Thomas Orde, was born at Morpeth on the 30th August, 1746, and was educated first at Eton and then King's College, Cambridge, where he became a B.A. in 1770 and an M.A. in 1773. He studied etching at Cambridge, and displayed great skill in "taking off any peculiarity of person", although he never portrayed anyone likely to become an object of ridicule, and it is recorded that any profits from the sale of his pictures were given by him to the characters he drew. This pleased me mightily, as the picture of Lord Bolton now emerging not only revealed his talents but that he was kind and generous also. He was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn, and elected F.S.A. on the 23rd. February, 1775.

In 1778, Thomas Orde married Jean Mary Browne Powlett, daughter of Charles, Fifth Duke of Bolton, on whom, in default of male issue to the duke's next brother, the greater part of the extensive estates were entailed. There were two sons of the marriage, William who was born on the 31st October, 1782 and Thomas born on the 16th October, 1787.

In 1780, Thomas Orde entered upon political life. His generosity is again recorded in that he distributed money and suppers to his constituents whilst M.P. for Aylesbury. He sat for- Harwich from 1784 to 1796, and represented the constituency of Rathcormack, Co. Cork, in the Irish parliament from 1784 to 1790, during which time he was chief secretary to the Duke of Rutland, Lord–lieutenant of Ireland. When the Duke died in October, 1787, Orde retired with "health very much broken", but I was happy to read in a history book dated 1795 that his health had become fully restored "with a new constitution", (due no doubt to our splendid Island climate!)

On the death of the sixth duke of Bolton, leaving only female children, the property passed to Orde in the right of his wife on the 24th December, 1794, and by royal license he assumed on the 7th January, 1795, the additional surname of Powlett. On the 20th October, 1797 he was created Baron Bolton of Bolton Castle, Yorkshire, in the peerage of Great Britain.